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Changing status from H1 to H4 to F1 invalidates PERM?

Atlanta, GA |

My PERM is in progress and I am currently on H1. I need to convert to H4 and take some time off for preparing for an exam. I look forward to convert to F1 for higher studies after that.

a. Does this change in statuses invalidate my PERM application if the employer still keeps it valid?
b. I am hoping I can manage without taking a break from work. What is the average time taken to convert from H1 to F1?
c. My H1 is expiring on Jan 20th 2013, can I apply for COS to F1 on Jan 19th? Will this adversely impact my PERM?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. A. Still valid. A PERM approval and the I-140 petition which ensues in its aftermath is not in any way dependent on whether you presently work for the petitioning employer or not. Employers oftentimes file PERM for individuals who are not even in the country, let alone presently working for them..

    B. 5-6 months or more.

    C. No! Don't wait until the last minute to apply. You'll be sorry. Here it is not your COS to F-1 which will affect your PERM, but rather the other way around. if you will have to disclose that you have a PERM pending, you will then have difficulties COS to F1, due to "immigrant intent" issues.
    You'll be better off COS to H-4 and going to school part time, at least until after you obtain your green card.

    Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. First, I think you should re-think the use of an H-4 to F-1.

    Also, I suspect that you want an F-1 because it will offer you a work permit ... keep in mind that you may also be paying a higher tuition and that an H-4 may make more sense

    A. No, the PERM will continue
    B. This will be a problem it takes a LONG time to go from H to F ... unless you leave the country and go to the US Consul in your home country for the F-1 stamp ... that will be quite quick.
    C. NOT A GOOD IDEA ... no PERM impact ... but you won't be able to attend any classes, nor work on January 21st,

    PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

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